Hip-hop megastar Future drops two unexpected albums

Marcus Campbell
Mesa Legend

Rap music superstar, and ATL rapper, Future released two surprise albums in February within days of each other. The first album, self-titled Future, was a non-stop barrage of trap beats and drug influenced bars. Each song on the album built on the momentum established in the previous track. The second album, “HNDRXX,” highlighted Future’s softer side with sweet R&B flavors and soulful love focused lyrics.

The self-titled album “Future” was a cacophony of trap flavors and Atlanta styled beats. The album doesn’t stray too far from Future’s trademark sound and style that got him to the top of the hip-hop and popular music charts.  The album featured 17 songs and clocked in at just over an hour.  The album kicked off with the song Rent Money. The track featured angelic samples of a choir group on top of hard 808’s and rattling cymbals.

Like “Rent Money,” “Draco” is another example of premium Atlanta trap. “Draco” was an anthem to the street lifestyle, and the issues that come with, set over crisp high-hats and scattering synths. The tempo slowed down on the song “Mask Off” as Future rapped about the things that made him famous; drugs and the gangster lifestyle. The song featured sweet wood instruments set against trap music trademark drum kits.

Future found his pace on the song “I’m So Groovy,” where Future raps and croons about the luxury lifestyle that attracted fans to his music. “When I Was Broke” was Future’s most thoughtful track in the track listing. The track featured Future rapping about his life in the streets of Atlanta and the women who stayed with him despite his status.

Future’s second release titled “HNDRXX,” pronounced Hendrix, is a complete change of pace for the rap artist. On this project the rapper decided to drop something new and switch up his style. This total change of form shows Future’s gentler and more loving side as he released over an hour of relative slow jams. Future’s second release kicked off with the track “My Collection.”

The song featured samples of women harmonizing in the background, adding texture to Future’s auto-tuned singing. The lyrics highlighted his romantic pitfalls and his unique perspective on relationships.  “My Collection” blended seamlessly into the song “Comin Out Strong” featuring R&B superstar The Weeknd.  “Comin Out Strong” was pure bravado, both artist spoke about confidence in the face of nay-sayers and other obstacles.

Further down the track listing was the song “I Thank You” where Future rapped about the confidence and strength he gained from the women in his life.  Over the course of the song he described how women have built him up, or broken him down, and how that has helped him in his career and life. Towards the end of the 17 song tracklist is a feature by pop-star Rihanna on “Selfish.” Together they painted the portrait of a lonely couple who yearned for each other.

Over the course of the song we were exposed to the almost paradoxical ideas of unity and selfishness in love and relationships.  The album concluded on a similar note to the opening with an open apology to the women Future has hurt called “Sorry.” Future has already had a monster 2017, following two consecutive years where he also released a studio album and free mixtape.

Future keeps pace in 2017 and one-up’s himself by releasing two full studio albums.  If industry rumors were any indication Future may go for the three peat and release a third album in 2017.  His fans are certainly hoping his sound doesn’t become watered down in the process of releasing so many projects.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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